Hayward Hearing on New Red Light Camera Contract

Red Light Cameras are much more about revenue than safety. In fact, cities are highly motivated to NOT reduce red light running since revenue from camera tickets must exceed the cost of the cameras.

Hayward Hearing on Red Light Camera Proposal

The Hayward Police Dept. is now scheduled to present a new contract proposal for photo enforcement of red light violations to the City Council on Tuesday, March 5th at 7:00 pm at City Hall. Critics of the ticketing program wonder if the Hayward Police and Engineering Departments will disclose that a vast majority of violations occur within a fraction of a second after a light turns red.

An analysis of the data provided by the City shows that 71% of violations from the straight through lanes of traffic occur within the first 7/10's of a second of the red light. One signal light in Fremont had 7/10's added to its yellow and there was an immediate and lasting 75% reduction in violations of the straight through type. Newark which already employs yellow lights 7/10's of a second longer than the legal minimum report that fewer than 10% of all violations occur in the straight through lanes of traffic. Oakland reported in one study period a 48% reduction from all lanes of traffic when one second was added to most of its yellow lights.

Camera critics contend this simple and inexpensive solution to any red light running problems is not more widely used because it severely impacts revenue. When Caltrans lengthened that one yellow light in Fremont, income fell by over $100K annually. On March 5th Hayward may reveal how it chooses to balance safety needs vs. revenue requirements.

Send your comments to Hayward City Council in care of the city clerk    cityclerk@hayward-ca.gov     or attend the meeting.  I would appreciate a copy of your comment.

Roger Jones, Organizer   rlouisj@aol.com


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Jack Turner March 07, 2013 at 04:13 PM
The cameras are coming down in Hayward with a 6-1 decision by their city council. Redflex share price has been cut in half due to the Chicago scandal and now two other cities are being investigated for similar corruption. I still find it odd that it has been 1.5 months since Officer Hernandez took the Redlight Camera FAQ page down. Is the Newark City Council considering ending their contract early like Hayward? Let's hope so.
Roger March 08, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Jack: Officer Hernandez is not a sworn officer. She is a community service officer who does nothing else (as far as I know) except issue 7,000 camera tickets per year and attend court trials and testify as the witness to the "crime." She has never pulled out a ticket book and pen and written a citation. She has no authority (as I could possibly imagine) to take downa FAQ page. Will Newark be considering exiting photo enforcement?? Why? They have the most PROFITABLE program in the area. Roughly 1,800 tickets per camera. Fremont is profitable at 900 tickets per camera. Newark issues 88% of tickets to right turners. 88%. Some cameras issue as much as 98%. Let's do something. Write to City Council. How many right on red accidents have their been in 10 years. Was there such violence that fines in the neighborhood of $15,000,000 in fines were necessary. By the way, the number of violations is NOT COMING DOWN. Wasn't MASSIVE ticketing supposed to teach everyone a lesson and thereby reduce the number of violations. Why aren't there more than a handful of people upset enough to a darn thing.
Tim March 08, 2013 at 05:06 AM
You bring up an interesting point about these cameras. How can "community officer Hernandez" testify against you in court on a violation resulting from a photo ticket when she didn't even witness the violation? We supposedly have "the right to confront our accusers" in a court. I would argue that if the camera isn't in court to testify that the case should be dismissed. Now, I know a traffic court judge wouldn't give that defense more than a minute before finding you guilty but I would think that if someone had the resources to run one of these citations up the flag pole that it would be ripe for a Constitutional challenge.
Roger March 08, 2013 at 09:22 PM
About the right to confront your accuser. This matter has been addressed in front of many levels of Courts - Supreme Court on down. Eventually, every court dismisses the argument. Still, there are a few cases pending but don't expect much. At best a very, very few "offenders" may put in the hours and money to appeal a verdict, but it probably never happen that any defendant representing themselves, will be able to "object as to hearsay or foundation" and gain an easy dismissal. At best, this remedy will only be available to those who hire an attorney and appear before certain magistrates.
Roger March 08, 2013 at 09:27 PM
The Public Safety Committee of Oakland will be the next Bay Area venue to take up the issue of whether to get in or get out of the camera business. Right now the matter is scheduled for public hearing on April 9 in Oakland. The most interesting thing about Oakland is that the engineers actually added about 1 second to their camera enforced yellow lights and violations went down immediately. When the police found out some wrangling ensued and 4 months later the yellow lights were shortened back to their original settings. It is obvious to any observer that when camera enforcement is used, the incentive is keep red light running HIGH. The revenue is absolutely necessary to pay Redflex and hopefully have some $$$ left over for the city (after the County and State received their cut). Everything I say is true and well documented. Time to protest, you thinK?


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